“So, how far down are we going?” Lubboc was the new guy, brought in to replace a man who hadn’t been able to stand being in the tunnels.
“Today?” Brallic held his snack bar ready to take another bite, “In this rock we expect to make forty metres in twenty-four hours, so our shift will add about thirteen metres length to the tunnel.”
“But how deep are we going?” Lubboc seemed fixated.
“We’ll probably go off-shift at about the seventy five metre mark,” Brallic told him. “We’re working on the vehicle access tunnels from the forty metre galleries to where the eighty metre ones will be, so there’s not that much to go before we stop going down and start cutting the lower gallery.”
“Just so we’re not planning to do a short cut through the planet.” The new guy nodded in emphasis.
“No. Is that what they’re saying?” Brallic looked amused.
“Yeah, because how else could we get to some places as fast as this thing is supposed to go when it’s finished? I mean,” Lubboc swallowed nervously, “I’m really glad to finally have a job, but I was a bit worried about magma shielding on the borer.”
“I would be too, if we were going anywhere near it,” agreed Brallic, “but there aren’t supposed to be any magma intrusions within three fifty k of here. We’ll be fine. Besides, we have sensors to pick up that sort of thing, in case the planet decides to throw a wobbly on us and do something unexpected.”
“That’s a relief,” Lubboc smiled nervously. “I can only imagine that drilling into a magma chamber would be bad for us and the project.”
“Yeah,” agreed Brallic, “and where would their high speed transport be then? Personally, I’m not expecting run into that sort of problem until we start cutting the deep weapon chambers and I expect to be retired by then.” He had another bite of his snack bar and asked, “Are they really saying that we’re going to go through the planet? And people believe that?”
“Well,” said Lubboc apologetically, “so much amazing stuff has been released from the engineering and tech databases in the last few months that it sounds like it could be possible.”